Energy fluctuations of a finite free-electron Fermi gas
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|Journal||Physical Review E|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Aug 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- University of Helsinki
- Ioffe Institute
We discuss the energy distribution of free-electron Fermi-gas, a problem with a textbook solution of Gaussian energy fluctuations in the limit of a large system. We find that for a small system, characterized solely by its heat capacity C, the distribution can be solved analytically, and it is both skewed and it vanishes at low energies, exhibiting a sharp drop to zero at the energy corresponding to the filled Fermi sea. The results are relevant from the experimental point of view, since the predicted non-Gaussian effects become pronounced when C/kB 103 (kB is the Boltzmann constant), a regime that can be easily achieved for instance in mesoscopic metallic conductors at sub-kelvin temperatures.